Elon Musk deal could worsen Twitter’s problems in India

Twitter could face more run-ins with the Indian government if Elon Musk’s takeover of the social media company goes through, several experts have told us. This is because in India, unlike the United States, freedom of speech comes with a long list of riders. Twitter has had several run-ins with the Indian government before, but with a “free speech absolutist” for one owner, things could get worse for the company here.

Also in this letter:
Twitter employees tweet concerns over Musk deal
■ Real Money Gaming Rules Needed, Says Games24x7 CEO
■ Online delivery companies rush to hire riders amid high attrition

Twitter under Musk may have more problems with the Indian government, experts say

Elon Musk’s $44 billion bid for Twitter could lead to more run-ins with the Indian government and others over his “absolutist” stance on free speech, experts have said.

Terms and conditions apply: India’s information technology laws make it clear that executives of social media intermediaries, including Twitter, are individually and criminally liable for “non-compliance”, they said.

“Pandering to sweeping takedown demands doesn’t sit well with Musk’s stance on free speech, so I expect to see conflict, not just in India, but even in Europe,” Prasanto K Roy said. , cyber and technology policy expert.

All major social media companies see India as an important market but also recognize that it is difficult to navigate, experts said.

“It’s complex, varied and incredibly lean; just about anything can offend someone or the other,” said one industry expert – a view that has also been echoed by others.

“My concern is that Musk is coming up with an overarching definition of free speech that is more in line with the Western worldview and not necessarily fitting the way we see free speech,” said Faisal Kawoosa, technology analyst. and consultant.

First government response: Even as he wished Musk the best, Minister of State for Electronics and Computing Rajeev Chandrasekhar told us on Tuesday that “the government’s goals and expectations for accountability, security and trust of all intermediaries operating in India remain unchanged”.


Jack is back? Manish Maheshwari, the former head of Twitter India and now founder and CEO of edtech company Invact Metaversity, told us that Jack Dorsey, the co-founder and former CEO of Twitter, and Musk were pretty close ideologically and that he wouldn’t surprised if Dorsey was coming back to a more powerful role on Twitter.

Question China: There is also an ongoing debate over whether Musk’s proposed takeover would give China leverage on Twitter.

Jeff Bezos, Founder and Executive Chairman of Amazon, tweeted: “Has the Chinese government just gained some clout in the town square?”

“My own answer to that question is probably no. The more likely outcome in this regard is complexity in China for Tesla, rather than censorship on Twitter. But we will see. Musk is extremely good at navigating this type of complexity,” he added.

Employees tweet their concerns over Musk’s Twitter deal


Several Twitter employees took to the platform to express concern and concern over Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s $44 billion bid to acquire the social media company, which Twitter accepted on Monday. .

Many users and employees have also speculated whether Musk will let go of Indian-born chief executive Parag Agrawal and whether it’s possible that founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey will take over again.

Agrawal was named CEO of Twitter in November and would receive a hefty $42 million severance package if asked to leave within 12 months, according to data from research firm Equilar.

City itself: Twitter’s announcement of the deal sparked a flurry of sarcastic tweets and employee memes, which referenced everything from the allegedly discriminatory and abusive work culture at Tesla to the uncertainty surrounding leadership changes. Musk has said in the past that he has no faith in the management of Twitter.

One employee took the situation lightly, asking, “How am I supposed to experience the love of laughter under these conditions?”

Another said that while she loves shows like “Succession” and “Silicon Valley,” she didn’t sign up for an “immersive experience.”

“Can someone tell me if I’m rich or fired, please?” wrote one employee, while another said, “You refresh your calendar every few months and you have a new boss.”

Read also : Twitter abuzz with posts, memes and dozens of hashtags about Musk deal


Real-money gaming rules needed to weed out illegal gamblers: Games24x7 CEO


The gaming industry needs a regulatory structure as legitimate operators are struggling while several companies are offering real-money gambling under the guise of ‘games of skill’, co-founder and director Bhavin Pandya told us. general of brand new gaming unicorn Games24x7 in an interview. .

Real-money games such as cards and fantasy sports continue to face regulatory hurdles in several states in the absence of a legal framework. Meanwhile, online games have exploded, both in terms of user and investor interest, since the pandemic began.

Estimate: “As an industry, we will have to solve two problems. Firstly, under the guise of games of skill, all manner of betting and gambling operations occur…and secondly, gambling operators around the world are coming and operating in the market just under the radar through surrogate marketing,” Pandya said.

Games24x7 raised $75m last month at a $2.5bn valuation, catapulting it into the unicorn club, or private companies valued at $1bn or more, joining Mobile Premier League and Dream Sports, which runs the online fantasy gaming platform Dream11.

Canceled bans: On March 30, Karnataka went to the Supreme Court, challenging a High Court judgment that struck down some key amendments to the State Government Police Act 1963 that banned betting and gambling in line. Laws prohibiting online gambling have also been struck down and reversed in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Online delivery companies rush to hire riders amid high attrition


There is a rush to hire women at India’s leading online delivery companies amid rising attrition levels and the need to rapidly increase the workforce, executives have told us and industry experts. Women have a better retention rate and are seen as efficient and more disciplined, they said.

Driving the news: Companies such as Zomato, Swiggy, Ecom Express and Shadowfax are among those looking to bring more women into their last-mile delivery fleets.

  • Ecom Express, which has four female-only birthing centers in Delhi, Jaipur and Ludhiana, plans to set up ten new female-only birthing centers this year.
  • Shadowfax Technologies, which works with online marketplaces such as Flipkart Quick, Zepto, BigBasket and Swiggy Instamart, currently has approximately 6,600 female delivery partners out of a total of 100,000 delivery workers.
  • To attract more women to its last-mile fleet, Swiggy is allowing bike delivery for short-distance orders.

Yes, but: Recruitment experts have said that even though companies are actively tapping into this talent pool, attracting women for last-mile jobs is still not easy.

Closed deals ETtech


■ Debt Market CredAvenue acquired a majority stake in Corpository, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) based credit underwriting company at a valuation of Rs 100 crore through a combination of primary investment and purchase secondary to existing shareholders.

■ Navikenz, an artificial intelligence (AI) consultancy, raised $4 million in its funding round, led by leading investors including Sudip Nandy, senior adviser at private equity firm ChrysCapital and PR Chandrasekar, the former CEO of Hexaware. Navikenz will use this investment to expand its presence in India and the United States.

■ Sateeq, an investment platform, said it raised an undisclosed funding round from a group of founders and angel investors. Investors include Himanshu Periwal, Founder, Unlu; Sarthak Goel, Founder, Y-Combinator supported InVoid; Vaibhav Jalan, Smallcase; Nikunj Jain, Amitesh Sinha, SIMA Funds partner; Kunwar and Amit, Founder, UnFinance.

■ DeHaat, an agritech platform, acquired a majority stake in Y-Cook India in an all-cash deal. Investors include Omnivore Partners, Oikocredit and 021 Capital, to name a few. While OikCredit and 021 Capital will get an exit through this transaction, Omnivore, which is also an investor in DeHaat, will swap its equity.

Other Top Stories by our journalists


New Nasscom President: IT industry body Nasscom said on Tuesday that Krishnan Ramanujam, president, Enterprise Growth Group at Tata Consultancy Services, has been named chairman for 2022-23.

Wipro to Acquire Rizing for $540 Million: IT services provider Wipro is set to acquire consulting firm SAP Rizing Intermediate Holdings Inc for $540 million in an all-cash deal, marking the Bengaluru-based company’s second acquisition this month .

Global Choices We Read

■ By buying Twitter, Elon Musk will face the reality of his speech on free speech (NYT)
■ What better owner for Twitter than Elon Musk, master of misguided tweeting? (The Guardian)
■ Five ways to stay online during a government internet shutdown (rest of the world)

Today’s ETtech Morning Dispatch was hosted by Zaheer Merchant in Mumbai and Judy Franko in New Delhi. Graphics and illustrations by Rahul Awasthi.


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